By Stephanie Barron
While the nationwide Socialists got here to strength in Germany within the early Nineteen Thirties, one in all their so much energetic campaigns was once opposed to modernist and avant-garde paintings. a few 650 works through such well known artists as Max Beckmann, Marc Chagall, Otto Dix, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee have been faraway from German museums and assembled in a touring exhibition that the Nazis known as "Degenerate Art." Fifty years later, the L.A. County Museum of artwork reconstructed the infamous exhibition. This catalogue not just recreates the unique convey, yet includes exhaustively researched essays on such subject matters because the Nazi beliefs of good looks and resistance efforts by means of a few German museums. Biographical details is on the market for every persecuted artist in addition to infrequent pictures, and there's a room via room survey of and consultant to the 1939 exhibition with a brand new English translation. creative expression remains to be less than assault through such teams because the NEA, making this e-book strikingly appropriate this day.
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Extra info for Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany
1 of Winckelmann, describing I beauty for time all in his Allertlmms (History of the art of antiquity) of acceptable to the middle classes by raising nudity and turning to an abstract plane it beauty was perceived as somehow Such into a stylistic principle sexless, a conviction shared by others at a later date, aided by the belief that the almost transparent whiteness of these figures raised them above the personal and sensual At roughly the same time Winckelmann wrote his Figure 20 famous SfirrrlMdrr book, johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote, "Apollo Helvedere, do you show yourself of our all own to us in all your nudity, making us why ashamed nakedness v Male symbolism could not be stripped of ' phvsicalitv, the beauty of the muscular and harmonious bodies Greek youths — lay in their — lithe and supple, nakedness It was precisely the corporeality of the sculpture that expressed strength and harmony order and dynamism, ities of both burgher and nation (fig in other words, the ideal qual- 21) For the Nazis such men symbolized the true German upon whose commitment the Third Reich depended From the moment when bourgeois morality was lished, the ideals of male and female beauty differed circumstance that largely determined the a national to bring symbol The male was regarded about a timeless order first political role of as and cure an estab- radically, a women as dynamic, promising ailing world, Fnedrich monument of Munich Spear-bearer), copy of the to the (alien oi the First DorypMm by Polyclitus (c World War, bronze, formerly 450—420 BC at the University Theodor on Vischer, the nineteenth century's foremost aesthetics, assigned to German writer beauty and manliness the task of prevent- Women, by contrast, were turned into passive figures Queen Luise of Prussia (1776-1810), who was as the "Prussian Madonna " While the male was often ing chaos such as Cermania or stylized depicted nude, the woman was almost always fully clothed, at least symbol And yet, for to the extent that she functioned as a national all their differences, public representations of one important point The nakedness common in men and women had they transcended sensuality and latently threatening effect In this context lost its unsettling not without it is nudism was banned immediately significance that on so many of the male stereotype displayed Nazi buildings and monuments, however, never after the Nazis On came to much the same level was a warning issued by the Reichsministerium power (it was said to deaden women's natural shame) des Innern (Reich ministry of the interior) in 1935 to the effect that nude bathing by people first step toward the violation of Paragraph homosexual Reich drew be same sex could be seen as the which punished 175, acts attempt to strip nakedness of In its sentation of the Arno Breker's nude male sculptures demand, and statues in official sensuality the Third its sharp distinction between private a decorated public spaces But of and public repre18) continued to seminude men and women was an it life (fig still smooth, almost abstract, transparent nakedness and a frozen posture achieved by recourse to Winckelmann's purified concept The Nazis encouraged of nudity arose once more Hans Suren (German gymnastics) editions during the nude body of of beauty physical training, and here the problem its of 1938, a book in his that Gymnastik Third Reich, exemplified the sensuous appeal cated nearly complete nudity tier Deulschm went through several effort to divest the in this particular setting in the pursuit of He Ma.
Promote an atmosphere shook demanded their heads, or one room recall vividly I There were no titles, Kandinsky because of aggressiveness but my in silly A Dada made it a beautiful art (figs 43, 67) looked to art I me I the absence I also they considered the was frequently heard especially well was a wall know anything about like a lot of fun, and (fig I this wondered Dada wall was 29) and a large abstrac- was upset because these two works simply did incensed by the Dada the many people who were artists see the difference, or would they simply considering these paintings just two more abominations?
Hip ( n students time to ences had not photographs There was, for example, dent Paul von Hindenburg, Der Tag like, as fig carried a near-mystical connotation of man's relationship it tainly not sisters paintings in the large art volumes (which in earlier years "farmer" KunslaussteUuna ideals of female have been various uniforms in see of portraits of Hitler and prominent Nazis a at a in various journals prude on the contrary, number included quite to the earth) Zieglcr or the pseudo-romantic Das Erwachm (The awakening) by of unknown, exhibited and soldiers farmers (although Bauer idealized, erotic, None was an amateur's photograph all Kameraiscbajt lliorak location seventeen-year-old not the Bauerliche Venus (Rustic Venus) by Sepp Richard Klein losel (The four tar wall been aided by reproductions voting, vier Elemente I, Kutistaussttllung number recall a 1 art exhibition comments type because they depicted "so realistically" what was beautiful and good, which card announcing the AusslellunQ it was and so postponed my lugendherberge (youth hostel), remember a "Entartete visit till if Kunst 1 the next day didn't I I'm not mistaken, few conversations there with others of know what stayed at the because my age I Some couldn't have cared less about the exhibitions, a few others had seen the Grosse Deutsche Kunstausstelluntt and , some hadn't liked it 'although among the latter there were a few rather graphic references to the many nudes) None had gone to see the Entartete Kunst exhibition GUI N T II I R spent the evening looking through the Munchiter Neueste I Nachrkhten and the Nazi newspaper, the official reading about the pageant had missed There had been I floats reproductions of the sculptures from the great Bamberg and burg cathedrals, others with enormous figures of Glaube (Faith), and with Naum- Treui (Fidelty) Germanic others presenting periods of still 1 units dressed side the floats was of It in different period costumes marched along- my surprise — the huge head of the by people dressed as history Included was — whom other young people with were all large number very impressed by a glorified much that How of spectators this talked I show who had of and idealized review of the past was on view different in route, it my I experienced during forms that duplicated my are as vivid as visit Crossf Deutsche Kunstausstellung had if it stated, "fur Jugendliche fee at the exhibition was free of charge I verboten age While was aware from the first I shocking as the in Colmar What had brought as an it that the 1 visitors, if made I if anyone was there recall the loud if an in official I 1 had £»l